Criminal charges will not be filed against a Seattle police officer who punched a handcuffed woman in the face last summer. The officer’s punch broke the woman’s eye socket.
The King County Prosecutor’s Offices said Friday the evidence showed the officer acted professionally and with restraint until he was kicked in the head.
It all started when Officer Adley Shepherd responded to a domestic violence call last June.
When he tried to put a woman in handcuffs into his car, she kicked him — and he responded with a punch.
The officer’s lawyer said his actions were justified.
“I believe it was necessary,” said attorney Eric Makus. “And I believe he did what a police officer should do when their personal safety is put in jeopardy by a drunken suspect.”
“Certainly officer Shepherd was civil until he was kicked in the jaw,” Makus said.
Officers ended up arresting the woman, Miyekko Durden-Bosley, who ended up with multiple fractures on the right side of her face, according to a police report.
That same week last June, Seattle mayor Ed Murray voiced concern about what happened.
“I have to be disturbed,” Murray said. “I’ll go out on a ledge here and hopefully not get myself in trouble with unions or whatever. But, if someone is in handcuffs, if someone in handcuffs and seated in a car, that person should not be punched.”
Officer Shepherd, a 9-year veteran of the force, has been on administrative leave for the past six months during the investigation.
The King County Prosecutor announced the officer could have used other methods to subdue the woman, but they were not able to prove his actions were criminal.
“This isn’t Ferguson, this isn’t Staten Island, this is actually a fairly routine domestic violence arrest where the person being arrested resisted, fought back, kicked the officer in the face and he responded immediately with a single punch. That does not rise to the level of a criminal felony assault. That’s all that we are saying today,” said King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
The Seattle Police Guild said they were pleased with the prosecutor’s decision saying Shepherd used “reasonable and necessary force on the suspect to stop the assault.”
“I would ask the public to look at police officers as human beings that work hard and want to go home at the end of the night, and not as robocops that should be threatened and provoked and spit at and kicked at and hit at,” Makus said.